Gun owners sue Matiang'i for revoking their licensing

Interior and Co-ordination of Government CS Fred Matiang'i responds to questions during a meeting with Administration and National Security Committee at Parliament. February 20, 2018. Photo/Jack Owuor
Interior and Co-ordination of Government CS Fred Matiang'i responds to questions during a meeting with Administration and National Security Committee at Parliament. February 20, 2018. Photo/Jack Owuor

Gun owners have sued Interior CS Fred Matiang'i for revoking their licences.

Matiang'i last month revoked all civilian firearm licences and directed the gun owners to undergo fresh vetting.

He abolished the Firearms Licensing Board and appointed new members. The CS also declared Sterling-Patchett MK5, CZ Scorpion EVo 3 and MP5 as prohibited firearms.

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In a suit filed in court yesterday, the National Gun Owners Association wants Matiang'i order quashed until their case is determined.

“The firearms Act defines a prohibited weapon as an automatic or semi-automatic firearm unless it has been modified to the satisfaction of the child licensing office," NGOA says.

The association also wants the court to quash the suspension of their outdoor shooting range license, saying it has caused members to miss out on several local and international shooting events.

They cited the Licks Mashujaa Day shoot which is held annually. The association said it was in the process of organising a tier 5 march in Kenya which was to bring shooters from all over Africa.

They said the event would have had a positive effect on driving up tourism numbers given 400 shooters and their families were to attend.

The gun owners said the 90-day ultimatum given for members to undergo a fresh vetting is not enough for all the 1,200 members to undertake the process.

NGOA said Matiang'i disregarded the law in constituting the new Firearms Licensing Board by failing to appoint its representative to the board.

“No representative from a private members group of lawfully registered gun owners was appointed,” the affidavits say.

The group also want the suspension of their license for outdoor shooting range in Gitata Farm at Kirigiti in Kiambu, saying it is not a licensed firearm dealer.

NGOA says it is also affiliated to international shooting sports fraternities such as the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), a global governing body of sports shooting with representation in over 70 countries.

The group says it hosts the IDPA Kenya fraternity and that its members are entitled to participate and represent the country in global IDPA sport shooting competitions.

They also represent Kenya self-defense and safety trainings.

They also say that they offer basic gun use safety, practical defensive oriented shooting competitions that feature equipment’s and gear commonly found in stores that help shooters to learn and improve their shooting skills.